On March 1st, Angie Martin opened the corner double door to her new barber salon, Prodigy, on Fourth Street.
As are many buildings along Huntingburg’s commercial district, the historic building at 302 E. Fourth Street exudes a Victorian charm that fits the vision she had for a modern shop. When she saw it was available, she decided to take the risk and investment in her own establishment.
“I just decided it was time for something bigger,” Angie explained.
She had been working as a barber for about four years and it was her first jump into business on her own. Then, a couple of weeks later, she had to close down for six weeks as the pandemic closed everything.
That time was tough as it has been for many businesses but when Angie turned on the open sign and reopened her doors on May 11th, customers came pouring in and business has been booming ever since.
“I think the location is drawing people in,” her business partner Dustin Green explained adding that the trendy, modern styles they provide are popular.
Dustin and Angie each have their own winding roads that put a pair of scissors and trimmers in their hands.
For Angie, as a child she loved cutting hair. No baby doll, family pet, or bangs were safe when she had some scissors in her hand. She was also very creative.
The 33-year-old had considered getting trained as a barber but life happened and the single mom of two didn’t take that step until about six years ago when she realized it was time to get back in touch with that creative, scissor-wielding side of herself.
“Something clicked and I decided to do it,” she explained.
She went to school and about four years ago began working in local salons and shops.
Dustin’s road to standing behind a barber’s chair began with his attempt to rob a bank in Washington. He was in a bad situation and addicted to meth when he made the decision to follow through with the robbery he had planned in his head.
After getting arrested and convicted, he ended up in Branchville where a string of events there landed him in the prison barbershop.
“They asked me if I wanted to work in the barbershop when I first got there,” he explained, “but I told them no.”
Dustin said he was praying for God to help change him and his life while he was in prison. He feels that what happened next was an answer to those prayers.
After Dustin attended a court date one time, the prison didn’t process his return to the center properly. Dustin, who was unaware of the mistake, ended up working in a logging crew the next day. “We were chopping wood and it was a miserable job,” he explained.
While he was working, the prison shut down as officials realized the number of inmates working on the crew wasn’t correct.
“They shut the prison down, they locked me up,” he explained. “But I guess they realized it was their mistake and they felt bad so they asked me again if I wanted to go into the barbershop.”
This time he said yes.
“I believe this was my prayer being answered,” Dustin said.
He went over and learned how to run a pair of clippers — scissors weren’t allowed — and when he got out, he decided he enjoyed it enough to make it a profession. His wife supported him while he went to school.
Dustin and Angie worked together at a local shop. They didn’t really see eye-to-eye while they worked a few chairs away from each other, they both admit.
When Angie decided to open her own spot, she asked Dustin to join her. Dustin wasn’t sure he wanted to but his wife said he should make the jump. He did and he hasn’t regretted it.
These days, the two share a passion for providing customers with exactly what they want.
“I love making someone feel good about themselves,” Angie said.
A haircut and a nice shave or a style and a color can do that.
To build upon that aesthetic and add to Huntingburg’s Downtown vibe, Angie said she plans on inviting musicians to play at the shop in the evening.
“We had a musician in here the other day and they stopped in the middle of their set to say how great they sounded in here,” Angie laughed.
The high ceiling of the former Huntingburg Bank accented with a victorian chandelier and the tile floors lend a perfect, singing-in-the-shower, acoustic to the space.
Prodigy Barbersalon offers men’s haircuts, beard trims, shaves, eyebrow waxing, as well as women’s hair coloring, perms, highlights and updos. Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They offer walkins but prefer appointments. Call 812-684-8193 for an appointment. They are also on Facebook here.